MA in International Relations: International Security

General

Program Description

University of Groningen

How do actors relate to each other and their natural environment in terms of threats and vulnerabilities? When and how is violence organized? How can possible conflicts be prevented or solved?

International Security, a track of the master International Relations, is aimed at issues of power politics and international order, peace and war, and strategy and diplomacy. Its main focus is the phenomenon of, and theoretical reflection on, 'violence' in its broader context.

Traditionally, attention for warfare and political violence, i.e. military security, has dominated the study of International Security. They still form the central issues. But especially after the Cold War other concerns occupy the agenda, such as environmental security (about climate change or industrial hazards), societal security (about group identities) and economic security (about welfare and development). These different types of concerns have their own meaning when studying the causes of violent conflict, its prevention and management, and conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Methodologically, the study of International Security has profited from the so-called constructivist turn in International Relations. In addition to traditional analyses new approaches have emerged, most notably Critical Security Studies, the Copenhagen School, and the Risk Society approach.

Why study this program in Groningen?

The MA in International Relations: International Security: (a) pays attention to the theoretical developments as well as the dimensions of the contemporary security agenda; (b) offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by a committed staff; (c) includes a career-oriented placement that prepares graduates for the labour market; and (d) provides an excellent preparation for positions at a broad variety of security-oriented and conflict-management related institutions.

Program

Year 1

The Master's degree program International Relations is 60 ECTS. The basic element is the module Advanced Theory of International Relations. This module must be followed by all students. You choose two research seminars (at least one of which in International Security) and a Capita International Security, all in your first semester. During your second semester, you will write a Master thesis (in the field of International Security) and you will do a placement.

Courses

  • Advanced Theory of International Relations (5 EC)
  • Research Seminar 1 (10 EC)
  • Research Seminar 2 (10 EC)
  • Capita International Security (5 EC)
  • Master's Placement (10 EC)
  • Master's Thesis International Security (20 EC)

Curriculum

Because the program starts in September as well as in February, all courses are offered both in the first and in the second semester.

Examples of Research Seminars International Security are: 'Governance and Security in the Arctic', 'Global Politics of Disease', and 'Energy Security'. The topics of the research seminars differ every year, so these are merely examples.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Dutch diploma

Specific requirements More information
Language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). If you have a VWO diploma a language test is not required.

Previous education

University of Groningen: For students with a University of Groningen Bachelor's degree in American Studies, Communication and Information Studies, European Languages and Cultures (Profile Politics and Society), History, International and European Law, International Business, Media Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Minorities and Multilingualism, Psychology and Sociology a standard Pre-Master program applies.

Other universities and degree programmes: Students with either a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences (including - but not limited to - Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Geography), or an internationally oriented Bachelor's degree such as International Relations, Regional Studies, European/International Law, or (Modern) History can submit an application to the IR Admissions Board.

After you complete your application, the IR Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific program requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies, and the grades you have obtained.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

  • Direct admission is possible;
  • A student has to complete the pre master's program first;
  • A student cannot be admitted.

International diploma

Specific requirements More information
Language test

Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).

Previous education

Students with either a Bachelor's Degree in Social Sciences (including - but not limited to - Economics, Political Science, Development Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Social Geography), or an internationally oriented Bachelor's degree such as International Relations, Regional Studies, European/International Law, or (Modern) History can submit an application to the IR Admissions Board.

After you complete your application, the IR Admissions Board will assess whether your educational/academic background meets the specific program requirements, and will consider the level and curriculum of your previous studies, and the grades you have obtained.

The Admissions Board will then determine whether:

  • Direct admission is possible;
  • A student has to complete the pre master's program first;
  • A student cannot be admitted.

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
Dutch students

01 November 2019

01 June 2020

01 November 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

01 February 2021

EU/EEA students

15 October 2019

01 May 2020

15 October 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

01 February 2021

non-EU/EEA students

15 October 2019

01 May 2020

15 October 2020

01 February 2020

01 September 2020

01 February 2021

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Program form
EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 2083 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2019-2020 € 12500 full-time
EU/EEA 2020-2021 € 2143 full-time

Job prospects

The Master's program in International Relations prepares its students for professions and research careers where knowledge of international-political developments and the ability to analyze and assess complex issues and to form grounded judgments are relevant.

Many graduates become policy advisors for national governments, NGOs, and international organizations in international politics. An increasing number of graduates also use their analytical skills to advise international businesses. Research, media, and communication are also prospective fields of employment.

Alumni of the International Security trackwork at:

NGO:

  • Project Manager – Ahla Fawda (Beirut)

Government:

  • Project Manager - Federal Police Headquarters (Potsdam)
  • Policy Officer for Gulf, the Middle East, and Africa - Directorate-General for Foreign Economic Relations at Ministry of Foreign Affairs (The Hague)
  • Project manager - Schuldenlab Municipality The Hague
  • Application Desk Clerk - Immigration and Naturalisation Service (Ter Apel)

International Organisations:

  • Programme Officer – SRHR (Burundi)

Business:

  • Junior Policy Analyst – Shungham (Brussels)
  • Customer Engagement Representative - Survey Monkey (Dublin)
  • Consultant – Balkan Goes Europe(Berlin)
  • Product Lab Manager – Nomoko (Zurich)

Research:

  • Researcher - Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg

Media:

  • Freelance journalist – Elsevier

Research

The chair group International Security Studies (ISS) is part of the Department of IRIO. The six permanent staff members and over 10 Ph.D. students all contribute to the Faculty's research theme Conflict Studies. This is done at various levels of abstraction, focusing on various issue-areas and on various political contexts.

At the theoretical level, the chair group aims to contribute to a better understanding of the conceptualizations of security in time and space. How have academic debates in security studies evolved and how do they relate to security policies? This implies a focus on securitization theory, regional security complex theory, strategic studies, critical security studies, and peace research.

In terms of issue-areas, the group presently studies developments in military & defense policies, terrorism, peacemaking, peacebuilding & peacekeeping - including security sector reform -, societal security in relation to social identities and state formation, and finally securitization in energy, food, and health policies.

In terms of political contexts, the group focuses on institutional and regional settings in which security policies are shaped and implemented. Developments in Intergovernmental Organizations are studied - notably, in the European Union, NATO and the United Nations Security Council, and also in Non-Governmental Organizations in close cooperation with the research projects related to the Network on Humanitarian Action. The chair group has regional expertise about security politics in Europe (including Turkey), the Middle East, parts of Sub-Sahara Africa, and China.

The chair group brings much of its research interests together in the specialization International Security of the MA degree program IRIO.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astr ... Read More

The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. Geographically, the University is rooted in the Northern part of the Netherlands, a region very close to its heart. Read less
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